ME551/GEO551 Geology of Industrial Minerals Spring 2007 Commodities, Part 4 Magnesium, Perlite, nitrogen, phosphate, potash, salt, pumice
Schedule • NMGS Spring meeting April 13 • Final given out April 24 • commodities presentation by students on April 24 • project presentations on May 1 • final and project due May 7
Magnesium—introduction Greek word for a district in Thessaly called Magnesia
Magnesium—introduction • In 1618 a farmer at Epsom in England attempted to give his cows water from a well. • This they refused to drink because of the water's bitter taste. • However the farmer noticed that the water seemed to heal scratches and rashes. • The fame of Epsom salts spread.
Magnesium—introduction • 8th most abundant element • 2% of crust • Magnesite or magnesia • Light • silvery-white • ignites upon heating in air • 1/3 lighter than Al
Magnesium—uses • flashlight photography • flares and pyrotechnics, including incendiary bombs • improves the mechanical, fabrication, and welding characteristics of aluminum • hydroxide (milk of magnesia), chloride, sulfate (Epsom salts), and citrate are used in medicine • refractory purposes such as brick and liners in furnaces and converter
Magnesium compounds—uses • Refractories, 69% • agricultural, chemical, construction, environmental, and industrial applications, 31%
Magnesium metal—uses • constituent of aluminum-base alloys, 53% • castings and wrought products, 30% • Desulfurization of iron and steel, 12% • reducing agent in nonferrous metals production, 1%
Magnesium—geology • brines, wells, and sea water
Cautions • Magnesium metal and alloys are highly flammable in their pure form when molten, as a powder, or in ribbon form. • DO NOT USE WATER or CO2 • USE CLASS D • bright white light produced by burning magnesium can permanently damage the retinas of the eyes
Perlite • What is perlite?
Perlite—introduction • Volcanic siliceous glass • rhyolite composition • commercial perlite must expand • vitreous, pearly luster • inert • 2-5% water allows it to expand similar to popcorn above 871 degrees C • gray, white, black, but when expanded-white
Perlite—uses • What are the uses of perlite?
Perlite—uses • building construction products, 69% • horticultural aggregate,12% • filter aid, 8% • fillers, 7% • other, 4%
Perlite—production • New Mexico leading state • Turkey, Greece, Italy, Russia, Australia, South Africa
Perlite—substitutions • Diatomite • expanded clay and shale • pumice • slag • vermiculite
Perlite—geology • Volcanic fields • Grants perlite quarry (U.S. Gypsum)
Nitrogen—introduction • Gas • 78.1% of the atmosphere • essential element of life • obtained by liquefaction and fractional distillation • inert
Nitrogen as ammonia—uses • What are uses of ammonia?
Nitrogen as ammonia—uses • Fertilizer (Haber process), 89% • nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (NPK) fertilizers • nitric acid (Ostwald process) • produce plastics • synthetic fibers and resins • explosives • annealing stainless steel and other steel mill products • numerous other chemical compounds.
Nitrogen as gas or liquid—uses • Produce ammonia • gas mixtures • refrigerant both for the immersion freezing of food products and for transportation of foods • build up pressure in wells to force crude oil upward
Nitrogen as ammonia—transportation • refrigerated barge • rail • pipeline • truck
Nitrogen—geology • Natural gas fields Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana • atmosphere • ammonia produced when coal is distilled (coke ovens)
Nitrates—geology • Guano deposits in caves • Chile natural sodium nitrate (unique) • caliche rich in nitrate • driest desert in world 0.04 inch/yr allowed slow buildup of salines since the Miocene • NaCl, SO4, borates, iodine • Guggenheim process